PHOENIX, Arizona, November 26. ABOUT a dozen college invitationals took place last weekend across the United States, with many swimmers getting under the automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Division I championships. A lot of those swims were lifetime bests, but not as historic as Courtney Bartholomew’s 1:50.55 in the 200-yard backstroke at the Ohio State Invitational on Sunday evening. With a two-second drop in her lifetime best, the sophomore from Virginia is the ninth-fastest performer in the history of the event. She still has about 2.7 seconds to drop to approach Elizabeth Pelton’s American and NCAA record, but it does put Bartholomew squarely in the mix for the top three, a list that will likely include Missy Franklin next March.
Bartholomew also had a very impressive 100 backstroke in Columbus with a 50.73 to put herself in the hunt for an NCAA title in that event as well. Bartholomew was 10th in the 200 back and ninth in the 100 back at last season’s NCAA championships, and now looks to be in contention to give Virginia some serious points at next March’s championships.
Congratulations, Courtney. You’ve won the Speedo Performance of the Week.